Oneida County ’s Comments for Oneida Indian Land Into
Trust application-Group’s 1 and 2”

Immediate Release                                                        For Information Contact
Wednesday, February 1, 2006                                       Brian Adey, 798-5800


Griffo Issues Statement on Trust Application


 In response to statements from the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, Oneida County Executive Joseph A. Griffo issued the following statement:

  Oneida County had no choice but to oppose the application because it represented another all-or-nothing filing. Taking 17,000 acres into trust creates a situation that imposes a checkerboard of authority and regulation and is against the best interests of the people of Oneida County, including Nation employees whose homes could be impacted by unrestricted land use activities in the land claim area and whose taxes could be lowered if a fair, final and complete agreement was reached on the status of the Nation’s lands. The Nation’s claim that a checkerboard already exists is a misrepresentation, because although there are many levels of governments, they all abide by the same rules and regulations, particularly in areas that impact the health and safety of others and actions that impact land use and the environment.”

 “As I have said before, this is not about closing a casino. I recognize that in the context of issues related to their gaming compact and regulations regarding gambling that there are special concerns for Turning Stone and that it is important to ensure the viability of an enterprise employing thousands of local people. However, the application offered no room for the kinds of negotiation that are vital to arriving at a viable solution.”

 “Instead of all-or-nothing proposals, we need to bring all the parties in this case in one room at the same time to hammer out a fair, final negotiated settlement that will preserve existing jobs and create a climate for growing new ones. When there is a serious commitment to resolve this issue, we believe it can be resolved and will be resolved. I am ready now, and I wait for other parties to join me.”